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Posts Tagged With: America

32 and 9 and still new

32 years ago I immigrated to the United States with $178 and a guitar.

9 years ago I stepped forward with 78 others to take the Oath of Citizenship.

It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.

(more about my journey here.)

You see, someday I will be a citizen for 15 or 20 or 35 years and I’ll still choose to tell folks that I’m a “new” citizen.

Why?

Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it.    The choice of it.

We’re not perfect, this country, we’ve got our flaws.  Like most families, there’s bickering and divisions and  always someone willing to point out what’s wrong with us … but still … there’s a heart and soul about America that continues to inspire people to imagine a life here.

* * * *

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her,  and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies

To the oceans..White with foam

God Bless America!

    My Home Sweet Home

Happy birthday, America …. from a grateful citizen.

 

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Categories: Attitude, Faith, Holidays, Home, News, Opinion, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Freedom, baby

15 years ago today, we experienced an inconceivable tragedy when terrorists attacked our nation simply because of who we are and what we stand for. We will never forget.

4 years ago, we experienced this evil once again when 4 Americans were killed in a terrorist attack while serving in Benghazi, Libya. We will never forget.

We remember the heroic law enforcement officers, fireman and medical units who rushed TOWARDS danger when everyone ran from it. And our men and women in uniform who fiercely protected our freedom then and now.

So to the cowards whose jealousy and warped ideologies motivate attacks on us – I remember what happened here post 9/11: I remember people coming together NOT apart, strangers rescuing strangers and neighbors helping neighbors, people donating blood,money and food, an outpouring of love & pride for our country and renewed appreciation for our service men and women. We united this great nation as ONE. I never saw so many American Flags flying so bright and so often.

We were one nation indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.

Sneaky terrorist creeps will never be able to take away what is intrinsic to our nature as citizens: our desire to live a full and FREE live. Honor. Faith. Hard work. Patriotism. And FREEDOM, BABY!

We remember the people we lost…and the heroes who rose.

Freedom LIVES.

Categories: Determination, Faith, fear, Grief, Life, News, Patriotic, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Random 5 – Congress, Mentors and Meerkats

It’s time for five random thoughts from the ever-swirling mind of yours truly.

1.  I’m off to D.C. soon and last week, with the help of my Congressional office, I booked a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol.   Normally you should book these tours months in advance …  my schedule is jam-packed while I’m there.  I took a chance and found there was one spot left on the afternoon I was available. Luck or fate?   I’m going with a bit of both.  And, if you don’t ask, the answer is already “no.”  Just ask – who knows?

US.gov

Isn’t she grand?  VisittheCapitol.Gov

2. Last Thursday marked 7 years as a citizen.  7 years ago I obtained my 2nd passport and voted (here) for the first time. 7 years.  Stepping forward, with 78 other hopeful new citizens, that moment – and the memory – is still goose-bump-worthy.

That's me, holding the flag, and taking the Oath of Allegiance.

That’s me, holding the flag, and taking the Oath of Allegiance.  An Emjayandthem(C) photo

3. I’ve been saying “Yes” as much as possible lately and enjoying what comes next.  Last week I received an email from a long-time hero and mentor, Pat Katz.    Pat, teen leader and champion from the 4-H days of my youth, now writer, speaker, motivator, coach, artist, and all around fabulous woman.  She made a lasting impression on a young farm girl 36+ years ago and when we reconnected on Facebook, I felt like someone gave me the key to the cool kid’s club.   She shared this quote below and encouraged me to continue saying yes – and mentioned how fun it would be to meet up the next time I’m in Saskatchewan.  I immediately said yes – I’m going home for an August wedding and we’re grabbing a coffee and a hug at the airport arrival with my sissy Pat –and I’ll have my two favorite “Pats” in the same place – how sweet is that?

“Once you make up your mind and start something… Once you commit to it, say “Yes!” and never look back.

Do you have any doubt that I won’t rush to your side?  That legions won’t be summoned? That players won’t be drawn to help, assist, and fall in love? That connections won’t be made? Circumstances won’t be crafted? Dots won’t be connected?  That the course of history won’t be irrevocably changed?

Good, I didn’t think so. 

I’d say you’re ready,”
    – The Universe

4. This past week everything “popped” at once – not just Lilacs and other plants but the trees, too.  I’m popping Claritin like candy  … but is sure is green and lush and lovely.  Spring has sprung!

100_2359

Emjayandthem(C) ‘s lilacs

5.  I don’t care who you are or where you’ve worked – we have all sat through that one long, boring meeting, speech or sermon and then …

 

What are you waiting to say “Yes” to?  What would you try if you knew there was no way you could fail?

Have a great Wednesday, Peeps!

ha!

ha!

 

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Determination, Elections, Faith, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life, Patriotic, Relationships, Vote, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Random Five Friday ~ You can do magic

It’s Friday! It’s Random! Here are my 5 random thoughts on this Friday!

1. We’ve had day after day of bright sun + orange-leaves-so-bright-you-could-drink-from-them colors.  Everywhere I look is a photo opportunity and a reminder that I’m so glad to live in a world where there are Octobers.

2 doors down & Taken on my cell phone.  An Emjayandthem(C) Photo.

2 doors down & taken on my cell phone. An Emjayandthem(C) Photo.

2. Oldest boy was faced with a dilemma recently: ex-wife landed a new job which entailed two weeks of training in Chicago.  He normally has the wee ones 2 week nights + 3 nights every other weekend.  She called him in a panic referencing this, that and the next person who could share their care with him.  His response couldn’t have made us prouder, “They’ll stay with me. It’ll be fun.  They can have 2 full weeks in one place and we’ll make it work.”  Well, it is a big deal for a single working Dad who has a physical job with varying hours.  But as we saw how delighted they were for all that time – doing homework, picking pumpkins, helping him in the yard, playing with their neighbor friends and leaning into a routine, we knew that even though he’s not yet mastered the pony tail, he has all the important stuff figured out.

Any-man-can-be-a-father-but-it-takes-a-special-person-to-be-a-dad.-Dad-quotes-and-father-quotes

3. When I heard the news out of Ottawa … my heart sank.  Giving thanks for bravery and selflessness and for a young life so tragically lost.

RIP Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.  Google images.com

RIP Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. Google images.com

4.  Next week I’m attending a conference with my team.  A couple of days ago I was asked to address the 400+ attending.  I accepted and soon felt a wave of “oh geez what have I gotten myself into.”  Thinking back to 4-H public speaking classes and similar but smaller opportunities over the years, my own sayings came to mind: “Go with what you know.”   The PowerPoint is ready and my comments  prepared ~ and when the time comes for me to stand and deliver – I’ll lean into it, smile and check that off my list!

5. I heard this song the other day and was reminded how great this band was – great melodies, catchy lyrics and beautiful harmonies.  I think I’ll play it on the way to the conference – as a reminder that I can do magic, too.  🙂

You can do magic
You can have anything that you desire
Magic, and you know
You’re the one who can put out the fire

 

And how was your week?

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Joy, Life, music, Opinion, Random, Random observations, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

The greatest dysfunctional family, ever

Every day, we fight about how to make this a better country.  And while we may disagree on how to get there, Independence isn’t about always getting what you want.

It’s about thinking what you want. Saying what you want. And always being able to stand up for what you believe in.

Happy Independence Day to our beautifully conflicted, argumentative, always-fighting country.

You’re the greatest dysfunctional family in the world.” – Brad Meltzer

Are dysfunctional families actually functional?  (Photo from "Little Miss Sunshine")

(Photo from “Little Miss Sunshine”)

Think about it: are dysfunctional families actually functional?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Joy, Life, News, Opinion, Quotes, Random, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 20 Comments

On being a citizen

image from photos.igougo.com

image from photos.igougo.com

What does being a citizen mean to you?  Really mean?

Does it mean you can vote?

Does it mean you belong?

What does it mean?

To me, it means a defining moment in my life.

It represents the moment I stepped away from what my family might think and into what I thought.

To me, it means the opportunity to have a voice.

To have a say.

To count.

Sure I’d had responsibilities all along (taxes). But I’d never had a voice to go with it. (the ability to vote)

Yes, as a Canadian, I had those rights already. But as a Canadian woman living in the United States with her husband and sons, I always had an underlying feeling of being in limbo. Of belonging to one place but living in another. Of feeling .. disconnected.

But not anymore.

Why?

Because I’m a new citizen; Five years ago, I stepped up with 78 others  (from 34 different countries) to take the Oath of Citizenship.  It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.  (more about my journey here.)

The thing is … I could be a citizen for 40 years and I’ll still choose to say that  I’m a “new” citizen.  Why? Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it all to me.

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her,  and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies

To the oceans..White with foam

God Bless America!

    My Home Sweet Home

Happy birthday, America …. from a grateful citizen.

A great day - the day I became a citizen!

Teary-eyed at becoming a citizen!

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Categories: Faith, Family, Gratitude, Joy, Life, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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